Never Not Once is a gripping depiction of life as a family where some things remain a secret for a reason. Discussing bold themes with little restraint, this piece is pioneering, and both an intriguing and important watch.
You can read my full review here:
Amanda plays Nadine in the show, and does a fantastic job at presenting her part of the story. She also has a versatile and abundant bank of previous works from both stage and on screen, as well as writing her own projects, and being passionate about accessibility in the arts. Having seen her perform in this, it is so evident that her talent spans wide, and I was keen to know more about her experience with Never Not Once and beyond.
How would you describe Never Not Once?
I’d describe it as a challenging and insightful depiction of what happens when the secrets from the past pierce their way into the present. It’s also a play about love, compassion and the strength that comes from allowing yourself to be vulnerable.
That sums it up beautifully.
What were your initial thoughts and feelings when reading through the script?
When I first read the script I immediately fell in love with the characters. They are so real and complex. I was truly moved by how much they fight for what they want.
How did you prepare to take on a role where such sensitive topics are involved?
The play deals with a lot difficult topics so our director, Katherine Farmer, made sure that in the early stages of rehearsals we had time and space to talk about everything that this brought up for the characters and also for us as performers. The rehearsal room felt like a very safe space where we could respond honestly and openly to the subject matter.
Not shying away from these, this show is open about things not often discussed in theatre.
Do you think there is an importance for more widespread pieces like this?
Definitely. What most moved me about the writing was how brutally honest it is. The characters wear their hearts on their sleeves and they throw themselves into these difficult conversations. I love the complexity of my character, Nadine, and the struggles she faces as an African American woman in a same sex relationship who is step mother to a Caucasian daughter. I think it’s vital that we share these stories and challenge audiences to explore their unconscious bias.
What do you hope the lasting impact of the show is?
I hope that audiences leave thinking about the concept of consent and what that looks like. Also, that the show is a reminder of real love looks like too.
Please may you tell us a little about your journey into acting?
I was a very shy and clumsy child so my mum enrolled me in dance classes at Mountview Theatre School to improve my coordination. I loved it. When I found out they did other classes there too, I begged my mum to sign me up for as many as possible. So from the age of 6 - 16, my Saturdays and school holidays were spent singing, dancing and acting. Not only did my coordination improve but my confidence grew too! Performing helped me find my voice. I was hooked. I graduated Royal Central School of Speech in 2003 and feel very lucky that I turned my passion into a successful career.
What an inspiring and unexpected entrance into the industry!
Who would be the other half of your dream on-stage relationship?
I’m torn between Viola Davis and Mark Rylance. They’re both actors that I truly admire and I think acting alongside either one of them would be a thrilling experience!
And lastly, who inspires you and why?
My mum is my hero. She’s faced so many obstacles in her life but she’s battled through them with determination and still manages to be such a kind and compassionate person.
She sounds like a fantastic woman, who I'm sure has passed on these qualities.
Some wonderfully articulated answers there- huge thank you to Amanda for giving us an insight into what it has been like working on this project in particular. I look forward to hearing of whatever you take on next!